UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart FLW Tour - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Kentucky Lake: Why the Wheels Fell Off

David Dudley falls just short on day two to make the day three cut on Kentucky Lake.

Memo to tournament fans: Never walk up to a pro minding his sponsor’s booth at a weekend Walmart FLW Tour Expo and ask him how come he’s not out fishing. Chances are he won’t hurt you, but there’s no guarantee.

Every pro entered in a Walmart FLW Tour event wants to fish all four days. It just doesn’t happen. The full field gets to fish the first two days, then the top 20 go on to the next round. Finally, it’s down to 10 on the last day. Getting to fish on Sunday is every angler’s goal, especially when a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup is at stake. Some anglers don’t make the cut because they’re not tuned in to what’s going on at that fishery. More often than not, others have to sit out Sunday because they have a streak of bad luck or circumstances work against them. Here are a few examples of that from the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Kentucky Lake.

 

Charlie IngramCharlie Ingram backed up a great day one effort with a hefty 22-10 on day two.

Day 1: 22-06 (4th place)

Day 2: 22-10 (3rd place)

Day 3: 12-11 (18th place)

The second day, I went to my spot, and pretty soon a local comes up and starts watching me fish. He watched me all day and even talked to me some. Saturday morning, there was a local “fruit jar” tournament, and he was in it. When I showed up, there he was sitting dead-on that spot and fishing away. It was a stretch that was only about 30 yards long, and he was fishing the best of it. I had caught fish on two different baits the day before, and he was using one of them. I guess he couldn’t find a place to buy the other one. Anyway, I started fishing, and he yells at me: “Hey, man, I noticed you’re in third place. You might win this thing.” About that time, he rears back and brings in a 4-pounder. I told my partner, Theo [Corcoran], “We gotta go, because I’m fixing to get in trouble if I stay here.” Later on, I lost a 5-pounder on another spot, but it wouldn’t have helped me that much. It was a very frustrating way to end my tournament.

 

Castrol pro David Dudley has had a dedicated group of helpers this week. He had another good day and locked up his spot in the Forrest Wood Cup. David Dudley

Day 1: 21-02 (11th place)

Day 2: 17-01 (27th place)

I really don’t have any excuses; I just couldn’t get any bigger bites the second day. I only had about 10 spots from Kenlake to Paris Landing, and none of them was really loaded with fish. One of the spots, the best of the bunch, ended up being somebody else’s school too. I didn’t lose any fish, and I felt like I made the right decisions. The way I look at it, I was one bite away from another 4-pounder, and that would have made all the difference.

 

Kerry MilnerKerry Milner weighed 37-10 over the first two days of the FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake. He didn't make the Cup but nonetheless had a very good rookie season on Tour.

Day 1: 14-10 (92nd place)

Day 2: 23-00 (30th place)

My story is pretty sad. In practice, I spent a lot of time between Paris Landing and New Johnsonville looking for schools. I found one place where bass were pushing gizzard shad up on a shallow flat. That was my game plan: to find offshore fish that were feeding on shad in places where the water came up shallow. You couldn’t graph them. I found them because I saw bass busting shad. But it was one of those deals where if you ran over them with your electronics on, the bass would scoot out to deeper water, and you’d never find them again.

Anyway, a few others were fishing the same area. I’m new to this game, and I haven’t gotten used to fishing in a crowd, so I rushed things. On the first day, I got to a place where I had caught them in practice, hurried up to get my share and lined up on my cast. My boat position was spot-on, and I would line up so I was casting toward a red channel-marker buoy up the river. It was dark and dreary, and later on I realized that the buoy I lined up on was the wrong buoy. There was one buoy about a quarter-mile away, and another one way up above it. That was the one I was supposed to line up on, so my casts were off by about 40 or 50 yards. Still, I caught a few. The next day, I got my casting angle on the right buoy, and it was a fish every cast for me. I busted 23 pounds and wondered what would have happened if I had gotten lined up right in the first place. I’ll have a long time to wonder.

 

Mark RoseWalmart pro Mark Rose headed into the third day of competition in 18th place. He's more than capable of sacking up 25 pounds and making a big move.

Day 1: 18-14 (32nd place)

Day 2: 21-01 (18th place)

Day 3: 11-13 (20th place)

Day three was what I would consider to be a bad day. It was a combination of things. A lot of people saw me fishing, and it got crowded. I was originally banking on a couple of places that weren’t too obvious, but a couple of guys busted me on them, too. Finally, I lost a couple of really good fish. One actually broke my line – I haven’t had my line broken in a couple of years, it seems like. The fault was with me. It was raining the evening before, and when I got back in I just didn’t want to go to the trouble of retying. I told myself not to worry about it, but I should have, and it cost me.

I was blessed coming in to the tournament in that I didn’t have to worry about qualifying for the [Forrest Wood] Cup. So I took some chances, even though I knew I could catch 16 or 17 pounds a day on drop-shots and that sort of thing. I went after big bites, and I was alternating the new Strike King 8XD crankbait, a Strike King Sexy Spoon and one of those huge Ben Parker spoons like some of the others were using. I tried to hit all the places where I knew some big things could happen. I’ve had tournaments where that plan worked, but this time it didn’t.

Tags: colin-moore  article 

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-bfl-choo-choo-division-postponed

BFL Choo Choo Division Postponed

The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 has been postponed due to impending inclement weather. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-tigerodz-aligns-with-auburn-team

TIGERODZ Aligns With Auburn Team

Custom fishing rod manufacturer TIGERODZ of Scottsboro, Ala., has signed an agreement to become the official rod brand for the Auburn University Bass Sports Club. Scott Dobbins, president of TIGERODZ, is an Auburn alum, and he says the pairing involved a natural progression of involvement. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-becoming-aware-of-your-angler-strengths

Becoming Aware of Your Angler Strengths

The ongoing sentiment among fishermen is that versatility is the key to becoming a successful professional angler. While I’m certain that statement holds some weight, I think there is an alternate perspective that is worth entertaining. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-18-pundits-picks-for-aoy

Pundits Picks for AOY

Winning the Angler of the Year title is a tremendous feat. It can solidify a budding career or affirm a veteran’s status among the best. It also comes with a hefty reward – $100,000 and early entry into the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. READ MORE »